Artist, body confidence activist and anti-bullying advocate.
Cydni was studying for her final year as an art student and training to be an art teacher when she made the decision to grow out her body hair and share her story of self-acceptance on social media. Since then, her life has been turned upside down.
Over lockdown, Cydni started doing makeup tutorials online and was spending a lot of time looking closely at her own face. She began to look at old family photos, seeing images of herself as a child and thinking about how she had changed. Cydni has always had a unibrow, but had started removing it as a teenager for other people’s approval. She realised that she wanted to make a change and to look how she used to look again.
In September 2020, Cydni decided to try regrowing her eyebrow hair knowing she could always remove it again if she wanted, but feeling the need to “take back what was hers.”
Since then, Cydni has stopped removing body hair altogether and feels so much more confident: “I’m allowed to be who I want to be and I don’t need anyone else's opinions to change that.”
“I find it crazy that we still have these set out beauty standards in the media, if you don’t fit into them you are pushed away. Let people live, let people do what they want to do.”
Since then, Cydni has grown a huge online following (82.6k followers on TikTok at the time of writing) and creates a variety of content from makeup looks to body confidence inspiration.
Putting herself on social media and on the internet has helped others, and this empowers her to carry on.
Cydni story teaches us about power and patience
Sadly Cydni gets negative comments from online bullies, but she responds every time with consideration, patience and kindness.
“There’s no point stooping down to their level. I would rather educate and be nice to them.”
After Cydni responds, the people who bullied and sent horrible comments will often message again apologising, demonstrating the power of kindness.
Nevertheless, it’s not always easy and Cydni sometimes has to turn her live streams off. A recent live stream with over 2,000 people watching had 1,500 people writing hateful comments. While she has moderators to help her, it can be overwhelming and exhausting.
On social media, Cydni shows herself as strong and unphased, but she does find the comments upsetting. She tries to share this with her followers to show that no matter how perfect and happy people come across on social media, this is just a glimpse and often a little filtered. Everyone has struggles.
Cydni has experienced bullying for most of her life, and she has advice for others experiencing similar situations: “Don’t listen to anyone else, you are your own person. If someone else tells you that you can't look a certain way just stand up to them. Do what you want to do.”
“I want to look how I want to look for me, not for anyone else. We are powerful enough to stand up and be who we want to be.”
Cydni was a model for our Raw Beauty collection and a contributor to our self-love initiative. Read the full story: Reigniting self love with the birth of the Raw Beauty collection.